Having a total of 16 members, the program recently opened up for middle schoolers to join. Having a total of six middle schoolers ranging from 7th-8th grade, four freshmen, and six seniors. Top row: Emily Escobar (9), Logan Williams (12), Kristen Louder (12), Hannah Zomak (12), Allison Collings (12), Chelsea Wareham (12), Gwen Hunt (12), Paige Richter (9), and Lillie Matiko (9). Front row: Ciara Rauch (8), Roselyn Shetler (8), Willow Stoner (7), Olivia Beacham (8), Malayna Noack (9), Caitlin Hudson (8), and Tasha Myers (7).
Starting their practices back in December, the Indoor Guard program practiced at St. Thomas Elementary school every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-9 PM. Always starting practices with group stretches and warm-up dances, each member prepared their body for the physical activity to come throughout the night.
Only having four veteran indoor guard members, instructor, Rachel Deike (Faculty), spent many practices teaching each new member the proper way to spin a flag. Deike always stressed that good technique and knowing the right way to spin was vital to any successful group or show. The show this year was titled “Survivor.” With black dresses and pants to start off with, the group showed struggle on their faces as they performed the beginning dance to the song "Survivor" by 2WEI.
Dancing with plastic chains, each member maneuvers the chain by pulling it and doing certain movements to symbolize being bound to whatever someone is struggling. Three props stood on the back of the tarp which were covered in words like "fear," "shame," "helpless," and "lonely." Having a total of six rifles and 10 flags, each flag member got to choose a word that meant something to them personally to have painted in big white letters across the flag. The above picture was taken at their first competition at Waynesboro High school where JB took first out of three with a score of 67.400.
When going to a competition, you have certain criteria and rules you have to follow when getting ready to perform. Their warm ups have a set time for a body and equipment warm up, ranging differently with each school. In these warm-ups, the group practices key points in the show just to quickly go over it before they walk onto the performance floor. With having only seven minutes to get on and off the floor, the group has to hustle as they pull out the tarp that lays on top the floor and set up their equipment. This above picture was taken at their second competition at Urbana High School where Guard taking first place against seven competitors with a score of 72.220.
Different judges sit apart from the rest of the audience and it is their job to pay attention to the show and give the group a score in their dedicated category. There are four categories: design analysis, equipment analysis, movement analysis, and general effect. The judges rank the groups by the scores they give to each individual group. In the end, the scores are then totaled together, which decides on where the groups place. While watching the performances, the judges talk into a microphone which is recorded and sent to the instructors. These tapes include what the group can improve upon, as well as good aspects of their show. The above picture was taken at their third competition at Tuscarora High School, where they placed first against seven groups with a score of 74.920.
With the show being being titled “Survivor,” the members spent a good part of the show in black dresses for the girls and a black shirt and pants for the single male member. The black dresses weren’t like any other, the dress was actually cut down the middle and were only held together by velcro. As the show progressed, in a certain point in the song each member ripped off their back dress revealing a white dress underneath. The white dress represented being free from all the burdens and struggles.
The guard wouldn’t be able to complete everything without the help of the Indoor Percussion. The percussion usually performs earlier in the morning, and is imperative for each group to help each other. The percussion’s job usually consists of retrieving the tarp and props. When the guard is about to perform they are also incharge of holding flip flops the guard takes off right before.
This picture was taken at their last competition before Championships weekend. The guard continued their winning streak with coming in first place out of six with a score of 78.480 at North Hagerstown High School.
Before championships, the week was filled with three long practices and one performance. Practicing Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, the group solidified any changes they made. The week was very important in success for Championships, as it was each members' chance to become comfortable with the routine. Both groups also traveled down to the middle school the Friday before Championship weekend. This was a chance for the members to get out all the nervous feelings and mistakes for a good run through on Saturday. The middle school performance was also an opportunity for people to actually understand what indoor guard and percussion was, and hopefully get some of the students interested in joining.
Indoor guard championships were on Saturday, March 31, at Chambersburg Senior High School. With the guard coming in early that morning, they practiced and got ready together as a group before they departed. Arriving with enough time before they proceeded to warm ups, the group had time to relax before they went on. Performing at 1:58, the group performed in a very large gym filled with hundreds of people. Being in the gold division, there was a total of 13 other groups in their category. The above picture was taken right outside the doors while all the members waited anxiously as they were scheduled to go on next.
Reaching to be free from all the burden, Roselyn Shetler (8), gets lifted into the air as the group dances around her. Picture Credit: Sheryl Deike
At the point in the song where everyone rips off their black dresses, white covers the floor as the group spins their white flags. Smiles also take over everyones faces as they show the judges how happy they are to be finally free. Photo Credit: Sheryl Deike
Creating a circle around Hannah Zomak (12), each member points to the black dress that gets dropped to the floor representing "surviving" the struggles for the last time.
Standing in white, the James Buchanan Indoor Guard all stands in a line as they wait for the results at the award ceremony.
Coming in third place out of 14, all 16 members wait for their instructor to come down from the bleachers to personally give each member their medal.
The group ended up taking home the third place medal with a final score of 82.940. The guard went undefeated for most of the season which was something the Keystone Indoor Drill Association circuit had not seen before. Due to the groups rank throughout the season, there is talk that they will be moved up, putting them in the white division.
The JBHS Indoor Guard has 6 seniors, making this their last year in the program. Logan Williams, Kristen Louder, Hannah Zomak, Allison Collings, Chelsea Wareham, and Gwen Hunt.